One of my favorite roleplaying campaigns that I was ever a part of used D20 Modern rules that was essentially Men In Black, but if they worked for the National Enquirer. It was an entertaining game with a good group of friends that wanted to be part of it. As such, I understand how amazing it is that Kate Hackett and Tom R. Pike brought their love of the RPG Aeronauts to life. They wrote the short movie The Long Dig, based upon the RPG, with Pike also taking on directorial duties and Hackett in the starring role.
Eve (Kate Hackett), Laren (Sarah Cortez), and Seamus (Paul Todd) venture into the purple mist to scavenge for electronics. The problem is that the longer they are surrounded by the haze, the more hallucinations they see and the sicker they become until they die. However, Eve, whose eyes see in the dark, knows of a tunnel that should contain a circuit board or a few fuses. When the trio finds their wares, Ioseph (Cliff Simon) approaches them.
“ She and Laren leave with their find, and Ioseph will pay them handsomely for Seamus.”
Ioseph, leading a small band of people, asks Eve, the de facto leader of this trio of criminals, for a trade. She and Laren leave with their find, and Ioseph will pay them handsomely for Seamus. None of the three accept this deal, so Ioseph and his men open fire. But the noise from the battle awakens a remnant- a giant insectoid with a thirst for blood. Can the trio survive long enough to buy their way back home?
The most interesting fact about The Long Dig is also the very thing that holds it back from a story perspective. It is admirable and impressive that these fans of this RPG brought it to life. They clearly invested a lot, as the film boasts some excellent visuals and a lush score. It is also evident that the two writers want to do right by the source material, as there are genuine attempts at pathos and gravitas when it comes to everyone’s backstory; this holds especially true for Eve. The operative word here is “attempts,” which will be expanded on below.